Sambal pork

I don't cook pork very often but when I do, I like to make it this way. For one, it tastes fantastic a couple of days after it's made and also, it makes a great snack. Slice open a soft bun, scoop a bit of the meat into the middle and that's a yummy munch. A couple of these buns and that's a working lunch.  

I always have ground galangal and lemon grass in my freezer. You never know when you might need it! The other 2 ingredients that give this dish its flavour are candlenuts and shrimp paste. I suppose you could substitute candle nuts with almonds.  If you really don't like shrimp paste, I guess you could leave it out. But die-hard Nonya cuisine fans will miss its absence.

The other thing is that this dish does take some time to prepare. That's because pork has to be cooked well and at the right temperature. The ideal cut for this is the belly but I used a leg cut.

Sambal pork

1 kg pork with fat
1 teaspoon vinegar
8 dried chillies, soaked in hot water till soft
2 large onions
5 cloves garlic
2 lemon grass bulbs
1" galangal, sliced
1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste
4 candlenuts
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1-2 tablespoons dark soya sauce
Salt to taste

Slice pork into long strips, boil with vinegar till almost tender. (I used a pressure cooker.)
Cut cooked pork into cubes, reserve stock.
Drain the chillies and grind together with onions, garlic, lemon grass, galangal, shrimp paste and candlenuts.
Heat oil in a pot, saute the ground paste till fragrant and oil seeps out.
Stir in pork cubes, mix so that the paste covers the meat.
Add in stock, a little salt, stir well and bring it to a boil.
Simmer till the pork is tender and the gravy is thick.
Add in sugar and dark soya sauce, check seasoning.
Remove from flame, transfer to a heat proof dish.
Level the top, leave to cool then refrigerate.
For a healthier dish, remove the layer of fat from the top of the meat before reheating.    

Enjoy your sambal with bread or rice and a cucumber salad.


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